Kafka’s “Before the Law” • Story – Man comes to visit “the law”, he waits, and he never visits the “the law” • Plot – non-existent • Characters – Gatekeeper/Man from the Country • Psychological disposition – hard to tell • Kernel – not permitting anyone • Satellites – gatekeepers, castle Short story – image, impression, mood and feeling Novel – chronology, developed characters, structure
Exposition in Novels • Ab ovo (beginning) • In medias res (in the middle of the action) • In ultimas res (beginning with the end of the action) (isolated and integrated expositions) Ending in Novels Open – problems unresolved (just punished) Closed – solved (punished rewarded) Deus ex machina ending(outside intervention)
StructuralistNarratology (Genette) • First person/third person (Stanzel) is not enough • More well defined typology understanding of narrative transmission • Point of view/whose perspective is presented • Who is saying what is in the text and who is seeing the world that is in the text? • Is saying and seeing all the same or different?
Narration/Focalization • Speaker/Seer Saying/Speaking = narrating, telling, presenting a constellation of scenes, place, characters - diegesis Seeing = feeling, thinking, knowing, remembering – mimesis Creating a fictional world is not just creating characters, but also getting into their head/head space.
Narrator/Focalizer Narrator gives linguistic account of the world: “The street lights were getting dim against the thunderbolt of the storm. The poles were shaking. Garbage, plastic bags, empty coke-cans swept along the muddy streams as the wind wailed past his feet. Was there an umbrella and a raincoat in the car? How far is the car park from here? David wasn’t sure. But he headed towards the neon sign hoping for the best.” Focalizer is the psychological centre: “[…] what a variety of smells interwoven in subtlest combination thrilled his nostrils; strong smells of earth, sweet smells of flowers; nameless smells of leaf and bramble; sour smells as they crossed the road; pungent smells as they entered bean-fields.” – Virginia Woolf Flush
Types of Narrators Communication level (who is the narrator addressing) Extradiegetic - Intradiegetic Extra: “Jay was a gentle man by all accounts. He was thirty five and a Millionaire.” (narrator is not addressing anyone specific in the narrative, but a fictive reader) Intra: “Well what use if he is a Millionaire, but lead the life of a miser”, exclaimed Rita. “And he doesn’t even know how to count properly, and he is thirty five”, Roya chuckled. (Narrator is communicating the story/narration through the characters-narrators)
Narrator Types Homodiegetic/Heterodiegetic (where is the narrator positioned?) Homodiegetic: first-person narrator/part of the narrative “Above all. I have a score to settle. I forget nothing. Forgive no one.” Joshi, Last Labyrinth Autodiegetic: Same example as above, if narrator is the main character of the story. Heterodiegetic: not part of the story/not a character “Above all. She had a score to settle. She needed the money at any cost. If only her husband had the faintest idea of all the ruses she contrived to kill him. The poor chap had no idea that she bought a life insurance policy on his name for two million dollars.”
Overt/Covert Narrators • Overt – explicit level/individualized “Ray’s heart raced at the thought. She remembered from the crime mysteries she watched on TV; Arsenic poison had no smell and no taste. There is no way he would smell it or taste even when he is sober. But what if they find the traces in the postmortem?” Covert – implicit/anonymous “There were two pharmacy shops in the neighborhood. And then there is Ebay. But it would take two weeks to arrive. Arsenic is cheap to buy. Even rat poison to could be distilled if you had access to a lab. Gun shops are abound. Noose is the easiest. Takes no time to make one. Ray grew indecisive”
Other Types of Narrators • Unreliable – Harris’Jonestown; McCarthy’s Remainder • Gendered Narrator – Feminist
Focalizers Cognitive aspects of narration, such as feelings, emotions, cognitive perceptions only individuals can know from close observation and experience. External Focalization (narrative level) “Darkness divulges no secrets. One can grope because one cannot see. Then a candle flickered. Some distant smell of burning wood. Chirping noise of birds can be a sign that water is nearby. One may not be able to see in the dark, but one can smell!” Internal Focalization (story/action level) “[…] what a variety of smells interwoven in subtlest combination thrilled his nostrils; strong smells of earth, sweet smells of flowers; nameless smells of leaf and bramble; sour smells as they crossed the road; pungent smells as they entered bean-fields.“ Woolf, Flush
Focalizers/Multiperspective Narration • More than one angle; more than one account of the same event “Brawler No. 1 said ‘A-rabs”, that’s how I heard it”, said Malik. “ No, no, I heard him say “A-raps”, disagreed Najeeb. “I think he must have said Arabs”, hissed the officer.
Consciousness in the Narrative Consciousness - inner world: Characters have life worlds, have their own distinctive realities. Psycho-narration: high level of narrator’s involvement (instead of using characters’ language). “After the last fix, he felt that he was no man; he felt like a dynamite. He was walking on the surface of the sun” Indirect Discourse – Loose free syntax, illusion that character is speaking “Could it be the smoke bellowing from the towers? Could it be the fog in the park? It made no difference if it is dark or if you were blind. The dark side of the moon and the dark of my heart my be different, but they could be described in the same words.”
Consciousness • Interior Monologue Reveals the mental process of the characters; it is always in quotes and presented by characters. “And once again I am I will not say alone, no, that's not like me, but, how shall I say, I don't know, restored to myself, no, I never left myself, free, yes, I don't know what that means but it's the word I mean to use, free to do what, to do nothing, to know, but what, the laws of the mind perhaps, of my mind, that for example water rises in proportion as it drowns you and that you would do better, at least no worse, to obliterate texts than to blacken margins, to fill in the holes of words till all is blank and flat and the whole ghastly business looks like what is, senseless, speechless, issueless misery.” Beckett, Molloy